It’s a million dollar question. After all, over the course of a lifetime, few things bring more happiness – or ruin it more – than intimate relationships.
There is a lot of flawed thinking that can encourage you towards settling in your relationship journey – putting up with and settling for what you can get, rather than going for what you truly want.
Flawed thinking like
- I don’t deserve it
- It’s too hard to find what I want
- No one else is out there for me
- Being alone is bad, so I’ll stay here even though I don’t like it
- I am not complete by myself, so I have no option
- I don’t know what I want so I’ll take this
When you put up with or settle for something less than what you really want, it can affect you deeply in many ways.
Settling for less than you want in relationship blocks you from being available for what you truly want
When you “make do” with something that’s not really working for you, it costs a great deal of time and energy.
This is time and energy you don’t have available to invest in something better.
You can be so absorbed with managing what’s not working that you miss the opportunities for better things – or have no time and energy left for them.
Settling in your relationship brings unhappiness
Few things in life can impact your happiness as much as an intimate relationship can.
When you put up with something that doesn’t work for you, it leads to disappointment and unhappiness. This can spread to and color all other parts of your life.
Settling opens you up to allowing many other forms of negative energy into your life.
Settling in relationship makes you less attractive to the right people for you
When you’re putting time and energy into something that’s not working and getting unhappiness back, you’ll be a lot less fun to be around.
People like to spend time with people who are fun and pleasant to be with.
So, it’s no surprise then you’ll be less appealing and attractive to the people you’d rather be with.
This is a major reason why having a “until something better comes along” relationship is a bad idea.
It could actually cost you the loss of that better opportunity.
Don’t hold out for perfection
It’s true that some people are too perfectionist and have unrealistic expectations for their relationships and partners.
It is important to learn to accept someone for who they are. However, if being with someone doesn’t feel light, easy and fun – most of the time – then quite possibly the person is not a good match for you.
Believe in yourself enough to stop putting up with what’s not working
Putting up with a relationship situation that’s not working for you can often be a symptom of low self-esteem.
If you don’t believe that you are deserving and capable, then you won’t be very motivated to go for what you want.
One of the best reasons to focus on improving your self-esteem and confidence is that doing so will make you much more likely to find a partner who is a great match. Also every relationship goes through challenges and a strong self-esteem can help you to more easily create a happy, lasting and successful relationship.
What happens next in your relationship journey?
If you’ve been putting up with a less than ideal relationship situation, then you probably have some tough decisions ahead.
Becoming more aware of what’s happening – and what you really want – is your first step.
For many people, a next step is learning to ask for what you want, clearly and consistently. When you do this in ways that honor what you want, while not judging or shaming others, you give others the opportunity to meet your needs.
This can be a valuable way to improve your current relationship before (or instead of) ditching it. With some changes inside yourself, and in your relationship, it may well begin to work for you in new and positive ways.
But if you’ve been working on improving your ability to know and ask for what you want and need, and on improving your relationship, but it’s still not working well, then it may be time to begin seriously considering alternatives including moving on in your life so you can be available for something better.
This can be a challenging journey, and so worth it in the long run. Exploring these issues and seeking help from wise, trusted people can give you support for navigating the journey to getting the relationship you want more quickly, whether that’s in or out of your current relationship.